Robot adoption and innovation activities

Simone Vannuccini, GREDEG, CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur

Simone Vannuchi will be joining us to talk about robot adoption and innovation activities - see an abstract below from a recent paper that he co-authored:

Topic : Robot Adoption and Innovation Activities

Davide Antonioli (University of Ferrara), Alberto Marzucchi (Gran Sasso Science Institute), Francesco Rentocchini (European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Seville, Spain; Department of Economics Management and Quantitative Methods (DEMM), University of Milan), Simone Vannuccini (GREDEG, CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur)


We exploit firm-level data on robot adoption and use an event-study and an instrumental variable approach to study the unexplored relationship between robotisation and innovation. Instead of an enabling effect, we find a negative and long-lasting association between robot adoption and the probability to introduce product innovations, as well as their number. The result is particularly significant for older, larger, low-tech firms. In line with industry evolution models, we rationalise and interpret the findings suggesting that the key mechanism at work in the robotisation-innovation nexus are diseconomies of scope fuelled by capacity-increasing investments. Robotisation is instrumental to scaling-up production. This, in turn, focuses firms (especially larger, older ones) on existing product lines and away from product innovation. We also consider whether industrial robots studied here and in the literature, feature enabling capabilities at all. The study has important implications for our understanding of the role of robots for firms’ operations and strategies, as well as for policy design.

Keywords: robots; automation; product innovation; diseconomies of scope; Spain

Practical details:

Venue: Online (but gather in room 0.18) 

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 875 6010 5924

Passcode: 843999


Venue: 0.18, UNU-MERIT, Boschstraat 24, 6211 AX Maastricht

Date: 16 February 2023

Time: 12:00 - 13:00  CET